Does IRS Reject Streamlined FBAR Submissions
The IRS Streamlined Disclosure Programs were developed by the Internal Revenue Service to help facilitate US Taxpayers with safely getting into compliance for unreported foreign accounts, assets, investments, and income. At Golding & Golding, our Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist team has successfully submitted and completed thousands of streamlined submissions in the 8+years the stand-alone procedures have been active. While there is a possibility of a Streamlined Procedure submission being denied, there is a very low probability that it will happen. Most Streamlined Offshore Procedures handled by experienced counsel are approved by the IRS without much issue – and even if the Taxpayer is audited, it still resolves favorably. Of course, less-experienced fear-mongers will have you believe you are at high-risk for criminal liability, which has only occurred in a handful of cases — out of the hundreds of thousands of submissions the IRS has received. And in these few cases, the person applying was criminally willful — and outright lied on their application. Here are three important tips for the best chance of a successful streamlined submission.
Well-Written Certification Statement
The most important aspect of making a submission under the streamlined procedures to the IRS is that your certification statement is honest and clear. If your tax representative recommends you submit a 20+ page diatribe about all the wonderful aspects of being a US citizen — then now you have veered off the beaten track and have presumably lost clarity in your submission. The IRS likes submissions in a tight and neatly wrapped package, that clearly shows you are non-willful.
Reporting for All Accounts & Assets
In order to make a submission under the streamline procedures, taxpayers must make a full submission. For example, if one of the Foreign Financial Institutions that you have undisclosed overseas accounts with has absolutely guaranteed you that they will not comply with any request to provide your information to IRS, that fact should have no impact on your submission. In other words, you must still disclose all the unreported accounts — despite whether or not there is a high likelihood that the foreign bank or other financial institution will report you.
No Exceptions for Willful Violations
If you are willful, then you do not qualify for the streamlined procedures — it is that simple. The difficult part about willfulness vs. non-willfulness is determining whether a person qualifies under the reckless disregard or willful blindness “lower thresholds” of willfulness. There have only been a handful of cases — that we have written about previously — in which people who submitted to the streamlined procedures were criminally indicted, but these are people who absolutely lied, and knowingly submitted to the Streamline Procedures despite knowing they were willful. For 99%+ of people who submit to the Streamlined Procedures, as long as they make an honest, clear, and complete submission — they will be fine.
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